It’s always been interesting to me how God moves His people around the world on His chessboard. Some live in a place serving Him for 30 years, some 5, some 1, and some 6 months. Moving trucks always represent opportunity to me. I see them on the highway of life and wonder what that particular family has decided to do, become, or try to achieve. We’ve moved a lot ourselves. We’ve always had the same feeling each time- exhiliration of what is next, what could be, and the wonder of it all. If a person can be open enough to put their “yes” on God’s table, the sky becomes the limit for them…..that may mean a move, it may not. The issue is the “yes.”
Archive for June, 2009
- Hot as hades on load in/load out. What a crew of committed people. Thank you!
- Environments looked great.
- Chip and his team in Family Ministry added some new things; a great day with some new kids back there.
- Worship was great with Jason Sartain. You need to follow Jason’s story on his diagnosis of cancer. He’s a great musician.
- Dr. Mark Womack closed us out on our CORE series talking about worship. He did a great job!
- We are pleased with where we are 10 Sundays in at Origin. Our strategy and planning seems to be working. God is good!
- We so desire to see magnitudes of life-change in all of us. I know I need it. We pray Origin is used in this way.
- Jordan heads up all our media, but leaves for UGA in August. He is such an asset to our production area. I have no idea what we are going to to do fill this gap. ”God, help.”
- It’s easy to sometimes ask, “God, are you sure?”
- It was good to be back in the Depot!
- Origin is a church planted for people who just about gave up on finding a church. Come as you are, right where you are, right now. You’ll see.
- We have a long way to go and a short time to get there. (Jesus will be back soon)
- We could use your gifts at Origin.
- It’s clean-slate Monday. Start over today!
With the buildup of a great first day of the week, Sundays, Mondays can be funny…….there’s a built-in blah that somehow goes alongside the spiritual high that developed the day before. Mondays can be that way for some reason. All over the world on Sundays, pastors and people gear up to ask and witness God changing a life somehow, someway. When you begin to see that bigger Kingdom picture of the fact that God is so vast that He can bless all at the same time, multiple churches, in many areas, it makes us even more excited to be a small part of ALL He is doing. For us, yesterday was another watershed day- great music with Jason Sartain……great message on worship by one of our own pastoral team, Dr. Mark Womack, and amazingly committed volunteers working hard from 7:00 a.m loading in to loading out at 1:00 p.m. in 100 degree temperatures, right in the middle of summer. All of those emotions combined lead to a blah/blessing Monday. In fact, what I just described happened all over the world yesterday!
I’m learning to squeeze the minutes out of the day and experience thankfulness for everything I have in that minute; not there yet. I would love to be able to do this with the seconds. One day, I hope. What about you?
John Cross and I go back to 1992; we basically started pastoring about the same time. Johnny Hunt told me one day, “I’ve got a young pastor in Florida you need to meet. You guys are a lot alike.” It began a long friendship. We’ve travelled a lot of roads together around the world. John has been single 46 years; just recently got engaged to Dawn Pollock, who lost her husband and son in a plane crash last year. He serves as the President of the Florida Baptist Convention and has pastored the South Biscayne Church since the early 90′s. It’s a neat story. You can read it here. John, we’re happy for you!
I’ve always heard that FEAR is false evidence that appears real…..good definition for sure. However, it doesn’t mean fear won’t jump up on you. The mind can default to fear at any moment. Fear is never eradicated from our minds. Again, our greatest weapon is controlling our minds, snapping out of a thought process and into another, and “thinking on these things.” It happens to me in church planting……sometimes I really feel the confidence that God is building His church; other times this overwhelming fear overtakes me as I ponder the large percentages of new church plants that experts say do not make it, for whatever reason. I heard this week of two planters that worked hard, relocated, got ready to launch, and pulled the plug before they ever got going because they could not get anyone to come back. Somebody put it this way: Church planting is just one of the tools God is using to add to His Kingdom. It’s not the only tool. So, if that tool does not work in your area, pick up another tool and never flinch, because, the dream God has for you is still the same- to add people into the Kingdom of God, using whatever tool necessary. Origin, let’s defy the odds, work hard, add value to lives, shoe up early, stay late, and pray hard, that God will choose to advance His Kingdom through the medium of Origin Church. We’re off to a great start, nine Sundays in. Let’s make this Sunday the best yet!
Every time a new reformation has come, five renewals have preceded it. The awakening and reformation of the global church will begin with churches like yours. The same five renewals will precede this movement in your church.
1. Personal Renewal: It starts with the heart. If God is going to renew your church, he’ll begin it with you – and then it has to continue with the rest of your church.
2. Relational Renewal: After you get right with God, you’ve got to get right with others. Jesus told us this. He told us to love God with all of our heart and then love others as ourselves. When you have relational renewal in your church, the gossip goes down and the joy goes up. How do you know when a church has been through relational renewal? People hang around longer after the service. They want to spend time together. If people don’t want to hang around after your services, you have a performance not a church. The church is more than content; it’s a community.
3. Missional Renewal: This is when a church discovers what God wants it to do. We have a kingdom assignment. We’re not here just to bless one another. God wants to bless the world through us. Specifically, God has given the church five purposes – worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry, and evangelism. Missional renewal happens when we focus our churches on these purposes. When your church gets personal, relational, and mission renewal, it can’t help but grow.
4. Cultural Renewal: In this stage, God renews the culture of the church. I’ve known pastors who have tried to change the culture of the church without going through the other three renewals. There’s a word for that – martyrdom. You cannot change the culture of the church. Only God can. But once the first three renewals have happened in the church, God will change the culture.
5. Structural Renewal: After your church has been through the first four renewals, it’s going to outgrow your current structure. No doubt about it. I’ve seen it happen at Saddleback. The structure that works for a church of 100 won’t work for a church of 250 and so on. There is no perfect structure in Scripture. Why? Every situation is different. We’ve got to structure our churches differently depending on our circumstances. We change structures just about every year at Saddleback. You can’t put new wine in old wineskins. As your church begins to get healthier and healthier, the structure has to change.
There’s a sixth renewal, but it doesn’t happen in the local church. Institutional renewal happens when Christianity’s institutions change. Institutions like seminaries and denominations are always the last ones to change; they never start the change process. Change always happens first in the local church. Institutions are there to preserve the change of the previous generation. Take a look at a tree. The growth of a tree is never on the trunk. It’s always on the new branches. Institutions are like trunks. They provide stability not innovation.
Read here, why, you need to be at church on time!
Love this from Ben:
1. You’re not in your sweet spot. You’re working to pay the bills and slightly miserable. You dream of better things, but can’t let go of the security (which isn’t really security) to go after your dreams.
2. You’re good at what you do… and valued. But you’re coasting. There’s no challenge and no chance to be audacious. You’re comfortable, but only if you don’t stop to think about “what if.”
3. Your faith is stretched. Every resource is being drawn from within you. The uncertainly is overwhelming, and you’re tempted to trade it all in for security… but then you’d be right back where you started. - This is where Kim and I are; exhilirating!
Scientists have discovered that when we are actively blessing others or saying thanks to God for his many gifts to our lives, the neuron path to worry and fear is literally blocked. You can’t be grateful and anxious at the same time.
When you think about your situation in life…
Pride says, “I deserve more!”
Poverty says, “I should feel guilty.”
Gratitude says, “Thank you!” (Gratitude is an attitude of thankfulness that always acknowledges God’s provision.”
When someone says, “Wow, you have a nice cellphone!”
Pride says, “I have 2 other nice ones at home.”
Poverty says, “I got it at 50% off.”
Gratitude says, “Thank you!”
When someone says, “That’s a nice car!”
Pride says, “It’s just my everyday car.”
Poverty says, “It’s a company car.”
Gratitude says, “Thank you.”
When someone says, “That a nice shirt.”
Pride says, “It came from Europe.”
Poverty says, “It was on sale.”
Gratitude says, “Thank you.”
Pride wants people to think that we paid more.
“Godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6